100 Facebook Marketing Tips (2/4)

Part 2 of my 100 Facebook Marketing Tips series looks specifically at improving your Edgerank score, just who Facebook fans are and what do they expect?

This series took a long time to put together so show your appreciation by liking, tweeting or sharing it where you can.

Here’s a breakdown of each post:

Part 1 – Before you start, Page Basics & Newsfeed Marketing
Part 2 – Edgerank Tips and Facebook Fans
Part 3 – Community & Page Management
Part 4 – Facebook Features,Ad’s, Measurement and Facebook Commerce

IV. Improving Your EdgeRank Score

28. What is Edgerank

Edgerank is a weighting added to your updates that tells Facebook where your updates will fall in the Newsfeed of a fan. Your updates/content are called Edge’s and awarded a rank – hence Edgerank). Each piece of content battles for prominence in the Newsfeed for positioning, and this is determined by the Edgerank score. The score is partly determined by how often each individual fan interacts with your content, so your Edgerank score will be different for every fan. The more likes, comments and views a post gets the better the score, which then boosts the score of subsequent posts. Still not sure what it means? Check out this video – you need to know what Edgerank is about. There’s a number of tricks to improving your Edgerank.

29. Edgerank Tip #1: Content Type

Edgerank also takes into account what type of content you have posted. A plain text update scores lowest followed by a link, while a photo and then a video score highest.

30. Edgerank #2: Keep Feedback High

Do you see just under your page updates there is an Impressions figure and a Feedback percentage? Impressions is the number of times that update has appeared in a fan’s Newsfeed. The Feedback percentage is how many likes and comments the update received as a percentage of Impressions. Aim to keep Feedback above 0.5% or even better yet above 1% to get an improved Edgerank score

31. Edgerank #3: Steer Your Conversation

Don’t try and get loads of points across in one status update. Get your main point across first, then use the follow up points as replies to maintain the conversation with fans by giving them relevant new info. Chances are if the first point is interesting fans will ask follow up questions anyway. These are conversations and you can plan them to your advantage. They also give boost your Edgrank through multiple replies and likes from fans. This post also suggests planning status updates in the run up to a big event like a launch. Plan the updates to drive engagement in advance to ensure the launch update starts with a relatively high Edgerank score.

32. Edgerank #4: End in a Question

Some people swear by ending an update with a question, as it prompts users to answer it. I think this does have merit, although Momentus Media would have you think otherwise. Don’t forget to ask fans to directly like, comment on or share a post too. I wouldn’t end every update with a question, or call to action, it wears thin especially if it’s been shoe-horned in.

33. Edgerank #5: Likes versus Share

You post an update, a fan can like it, comment on it or share it. According to this research (see update at the end) getting fans to share it is 4 times more likely to send fans to your page than getting them to like it. I tend to only ask for shares on killer content and have hit 300 shares on a page with just 550 fans. But don’t ask to often, or save it for truly killer content. While I disagree putting specific valuation figures on anything on Facebook (because it will vary from business to business), this research puts the value of a share at $2.10. If thats true I’m owed a lot of $2.10’s.

34. Edgerank #6: Increasing Post Engagement

Emarketer suggests keeping post updates to 80 characters in length, as these get 27% more engagement than longer updates. Other ways of increasing engagement include posting outside of office hours get (20% more) and to post on a Thursday or Friday (18%).

35. Edgerank #7: URL Shortners

URL Shorteners such as Bit.ly used to shorten links and track clicks get less engagement than full length URL’s. In fact full length ones get 3 times more engagement.

36. Edgerank #8: Decreasing Post Engagement

Emarketer also suggests that posts made on a Saturday get 18% less engagement and posts made Monday to Thursday get 3.5% less engagement than others. Of course this will vary from business to business and you should be posting most days anyway.

37. Edgerank #9: Fake Fans Decrease Edgerank

Fans can be bought from a number of websites that purport to selling real fans. These aren’t really people at all. While they might make your page look slightly more popular, these non engaged fans will actually decrease your Edgerank, which in turn decreases the probability genuine fans will see your updates. Avoid fake fans at all costs.

V. Facebook Fans

38. Whats a Facebook ‘Liker’ Like #1

According to Facebook the average Facebook Liker has 2.4 times as many friends as the average user. That would mean when they ‘like’ something then potentially 2.4 times as many people would see what they liked (Think back to the Starbucks example in Point 13). This means they are friends with 312 people on average, compared with the average Facebook users paltry 130 friends.

39. Whats a Facebook Liker Like 2

A person who cliks ‘like’ on your page is 5.3 times more likely to click on links to external websites. Not only that but in the video from this post, Charles O’Dowd from Facebook explains how a user will react when viewing content that has already been liked by upwards of 5 friends. he compares how more engaged people are with it, than if zero friends liked it. Facebook also revealed, for news organisations, the average liker is aged 34, a full twenty years younger than an offline newspaper subscriber.

40. Users prefer brand messages on Facebook

In a study conducted by Edison Research, 80% of users prefer to receive brand messages on Facebook, in second place was Twitter with 6% and third LinkedIn with 3%.

41. Why do People Follow Brands?

For my masters two years ago I researched this exact question. From my qualitative interviews it was evident that people followed brands they were already existing customers of, that they really did like the brand, they wanted product information and used it as a way of displaying their tastes to friends. More recent research confirms just this here and here. One massive change is the inclusion of deals as an important factor for fans, this wasn’t mentioned once in my research two years ago. This study suggests up to 70% of fans follow brands for deals

42. What Fans Expect From Brands

Fans expect exclusive deals and offers, competitions, exclusive content, fun and entertainment from brands. Take note of the mention of ‘exclusive’, as I do believe just replicating content (including an online store) on Facebook is hard to get fans truly excited. Get this excitement and you may get them talking about you.

43. How do Brands Value Fans?

This study conducted amongst the World Federation of Advertiser’s members says brands expect fans to provide a source of insight (85%), have increased loyalty (85%), increased chance of advocacy (80%), a deeper level of engagement with the brand (75%), act as a sign of brand popularity (50%), increased long term (45%) and short term (15%) spend on the brand. At least marketers realise it’s at least a medium term investment they need to make.

44. How Many Facebook Users follow Brands?

Amongst daily users of Facebook (roughly half of the 800 million users) 69% are a fan of at least one brand. However another study I have seen, can’t find a link, suggests around 25% of Facebook users follow brands, this would equate to nearly 200 million fans follow brands.

45. How Many Brands do Fans Follow?

This study puts the average number of brands a fan likes at 5  while this study (PDF) suggests it’s high as high as 12 . I even think 12 is low, but if it doesn’t include music, TV shows, films etc. and is limited to brand pages and not pages in general then maybe 12 is accurate.

46. Recruiting the Friends of Fans
In a study conducted earlier this year (PDF) into why people become fans of brands, 20% of respondents said they became fans because their friends had become fans. In this case the friend knew the brand. But 19% also mentioned becoming a fan because a friend had recommended the brand. This other study suggests 60% of fans have recommended a page to their friends. Produce good content, get fans to recommend you and you will keep on growing.

47. Phantom Engagement

For all the talk of offers, deals and competitions a balance has to be struck in order to avoid Phantom Engagement. This is the recruiting of fans who are only there for the deals and have nothing to contribute.Try to avoid always pursuing any fan just to build up numbers. When doing competitions investigate if there’s a way to convert new fans into users. I worked on a campaign earlier this year where all fans who took part would be sent a coupon for a free product. This gave the brand an opportunity to encourage sampling amongst a new audience.

48. Fans Unlike Brands Because

Fans unlike brands because they post too often (44%), fans want to de-clutter their newsfeed (43%), because content was repetitive or boring (38%), fans only liked the page for an offer (26%), there wasn’t enough deals (24%), posts were too promotional (24%), content wasn’t relevant (19%), posts were too chit-chatty and not focused on real value (17%), fan’s circumstances changed (12%). This seperate study suggests dull posts and too frequent posts as the main reasons for unliking a page. Lesson there for all of us I think.

49. The Value of a Fan

I think it’s impossible to put an exact figure on how much a fan is worth, because there’s too many variables. From different industries to things like Phantom Engagement (Point 35) you cannot say every fan is worth €X.XX although some studies have tried this and this. But I do like these general stats; A Facebook Fan is worth more than double that of a non-fan or up to four times more than a non fan. But maybe these compare fans who are customers of your brand with people who aren’t fans and don’t buy your brand at all. Then of course fans will spend more. A Facebook Fan is also worth 20 extra visits your brands website per year.

50. Shared Content

Shared content now accounts for 10% of all internet traffic. Facebook accounts for 38% of this, or 3.8% of worldwide internet traffic is down to shares using the Facebook platform. Make sure you have like buttons on your website, and your content is worth sharing. Okay I know that will be impossible all the time, but don’t ever expect banal chit chat (Points 15, 16, 17) to get shared.

51. Cost of Losing a Fan

Much work has gone into the value of acquiring fans, their financial value to the brand etc. but what is the lost value of a fan who decides to unlike a page? I can’t find any research into this but there is a cost to their acquisition and maintenance of their relationship to the page. There could be a further impact on the brand because their decision to leave is unknown, so how will this affect their consumption of the brand? Did they leave because of too many annoying wall posts and now use a competitors product? It’s all food for thought really, on the other hand maybe the fan wasn’t that big into the brand anyway and contributed very little.

52. Like Your Fans

Do you ever like your fans comments, you should when they’re good. A bit of appreciation goes a long way.

53. Mobile Usage

In the USA the 4th most popular activity on smartphones is logging into Facebook or Twitter. Thats behind making calls, sending texts and browsing the internet. The top considerations for purchasing a smartphone in the USA are – Operating System, Apps, Music/Video capabilities, Brand Name and just behind brand name is Social Networking Features.

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